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Russia September 2015: Momentous shift to Korean models taking root

Hyundai Solaris Russia September 2015. Picture courtesy carscope.ruThe Hyundai Solaris is victorious in Russia for the 4th time in the past 5 months.

* See the Top 54 All-brands and Top 25 models by clicking on the title *

As predicted last month in the wake of another drop in the value of the Ruble, the Russian new car market returns to abysmal decline rates in September at -29% to 140.867 registrations, pulling the year-to-date total down 33% to 1.192.723 vs. 1.779.961 over the same period a year ago. Homegrown carmaker Lada falls much faster than the market once again at -41% to 21.658 sales and 15.4%, just four percentage points above shining star Kia, up a mesmerising 11% to an all-time record 11.4% market share, up from 7.4% a year ago. This means Kia is now also #2 year-to-date with a round 10% market share, edging past stablemate Hyundai, also impressive in September at -2% to 10.7% share. Within the Top 10, Volkswagen (-23%), GAZ (-15%) and most impressively Ford (-9%) gain market share year-on-year, the latter ranking at an excellent 9th place with 3.4% share vs. #14 and 2.2% so far in 2015.

Porsche Cayenne Macan Russia March 2015Russian Porsche sales are up an astounding 119% year-on-year in September.

As improbable at it may seem in such a dark context, a handful of brands manage to improve their volume year-on-year: UAZ benefits from an all-SUV lineup and is up 13%, Audi is up 2%, Geely up 30% – cementing its newfound status of #1 Chinese manufacturer in Russia, Mercedes Vans is up 54% and Porsche more than doubles its sales vs. a year ago thanks to the addition of the Macan at +119%. Datsun (#17) is off-limits as it celebrates one year of presence in the market. On the other end of the performance scale, Mitsubishi (-52%), Suzuki (-54%), Chery (-58%), Citroen (-59%), Honda, Peugeot (-62%), Subaru (-64%), Opel (-72%), Jeep (-80%), Great Wall (-83%) and Ssangyong (-91%) all implode.

Kia Rio Russia September 2015The Kia Rio is up 70% on September 2014.

In the models ranking, it’s time to draw a line in the sand and declare the implacable domination of Lada on the Russian sales charts is well and truly over after starting 45 years ago in 1970 with the Lada 2101, the carmaker’s first model. In September and for the 4th time in the past 5 months, the Hyundai Solaris is the best-selling nameplate in Russia thanks to sales up 10% year-on-year to 11.006 and 7.8% vs. 5.1% a year ago. The Kia Rio is up one spot on August to rank #2 with deliveries up an incrediuble 70% on a year ago to 10.822 and a record 7.7% share vs. just 3.2% in September last year. Both models easily outsell the Lada Granta, down a devastating 49% to 8.597 sales and 6.1% share. The Granta only owes its 2015 year-to-date pole position to scrappage scheme-boosted scores in March and June. At the current rate, the Granta should keep the lead in the Full Year, but just. 2016 will be another ballgame altogether.

Lada Granta Russia September 2015End of an era: the Lada Granta has only led Russian sales twice in the past 6 months.

This ‘Korean revolution’ was the subject of a full-blown article in Russia’s #1 car magazine/website Za Rulem, quoting BestSellingCarsBlog analysis, and it all happened in less than a year: only last November the Kia Rio was the first foreign model to rank #1 in Russia. If you are a long-term BSCB reader, the astonishing progression of the Hyundai Solaris and Kia Rio over the past five years isn’t a surprise, and definitely not a freak event. My 2013 Trans-Siberian coverage brought to light the exceptional regularity of both the Solaris and the Rio in every corner of the country, from Tatarstan to far-East Siberia and Lake Baïkal. This success was built on word-of-mouth from rural regions to the bigger towns, and is the result of meticulous dealer network expansion across the largest country in the world by both Korean manufacturers.

Toyota Land Cruiser Prado Russia September 2015First Russian Top 20 ranking for the Toyota Prado.

In other model news, the VW Polo takes advantage of a solid month (-5%) to overtake the Renault Logan year-to-date and rank at a best-ever 4th place, while the Lada Largus is in a similar situation (-6%), passing its stablemate the Lada Kalina to rank #7 YTD. The Chevrolet Niva impresses at +2% and #10, the Hyundai ix35 jumps back up 27 ranks to #14 (no sign of the new Tucson yet in Russia), the UAZ Patriot shoots up 22% to a splendid 16th place, the Mazda CX-5 is up 1% to #19 and the Toyota Prado brilliantly breaks into the Russian Top 20 for the very first time thanks to deliveries up 20% to 1.797.

Previous post: Russia August 2015: Now with Top 315 All-models (BSCB exclusive)

Previous month: Russia August 2015: Hyundai Solaris outsells Lada Granta again

One year ago: Russia September 2014: Lada Granta hits best share, Datsun lands

Full September 2015 Top 54 All-brands and Top 25 models below.

Russia September 2015 – models:

1Hyundai Solaris11,0067.8%10%185,5407.2%1%22
2Kia Rio10,8227.7%70%371,6506.0%8%33
3Lada Granta8,5976.1%-49%290,3457.6%-19%11
4Lada Largus3,9922.8%-6%629,7772.5%-37%76
5VW Polo3,8382.7%-5%731,3782.6%-30%48
6Renault Logan3,6102.6%-36%431,3122.6%-22%57
7Renault Duster3,2742.3%-42%530,1082.5%-47%64
8Lada 4×43,1762.3%-41%1227,4702.3%-7%912
9Renault Sandero3,1602.2%10%1122,0871.9%-17%1214
10Chevrolet Niva2,8272.0%2%822,3181.9%-23%1111
11Lada Kalina2,6581.9%-53%1029,1042.4%-42%85
12Lada Priora2,4801.8%-30%2121,3331.8%-39%139
13Nissan Almera2,3111.6%-17%920,5481.7%-39%1510
14Hyundai ix352,1731.5%-20%4115,0131.3%-41%1916
15Toyota Camry2,1351.5%-20%1423,2752.0%-6%1017
16UAZ Patriot2,0881.5%22%2213,7241.2%8%2333
17Skoda Rapid2,0871.5%-22%2517,7621.5%48%1734
18Datsun on-DO2,0241.4%289%1819,6231.6%3674%1650
19Mazda CX-51,9981.4%1%1613,6081.1%-10%2425
20Toyota Prado1,7971.3%20%2310,4130.9%n/a2637
21Kia Sportage1,7821.3%-13%2414,4431.2%-30%2119
22Skoda Octavia1,7521.2%-33%1716,5221.4%-40%1815
23Mitsubishi Outlander1,6901.2%-40%1512,0571.0%-31%2522
24Kia Cee’d1,5201.1%-45%2014,7881.2%-31%2020
25VW Tiguan1,3370.9%-12%279,7780.8%n/a2830
n/aToyota RAV48880.6%-67%1320,7491.7%-22%1413
n/aNissan X-Trail6580.5%-74%n/a14,2641.2%-16%2227

Russia September 2015 – brands:

21Mercedes Vans1,5781.1%54%266,2960.5%12%2535
25Land Rover1,0890.8%-38%248,5600.7%-44%2322
34Volkswagen Vans4660.3%-51%374,1400.3%-56%3333
38Great Wall1820.1%-83%392,9790.2%-75%3732
53Alfa Romeo40.0%-56%51280.0%-56%5456

Source: AEB

This Post Has 2 Comments
    1. Hi Paul – it may, as the Vesta will be priced similarly to the Solaris/Rio but bigger. However the potential positive effect the Vesta may have will have to wait until well into 2016, or even early 2017. Even though the Vesta will be launched in the coming months, Lada is one of the slowest manufacturers for gearing up in production capacity. The Granta took 8 months (from January to September 2012) to reach #1, and the Vesta does not replace a specific model in the Lada range, therefore may take significantly longer to impose itself.
      Tough times ahead for Lada…
      All the best,

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